Pea pesto with whole wheat penne rigate


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There are pesto purists, who will never settle for anything more than basil, extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan and perhaps a handful of pine nuts, but then there are people who like to mix things up a bit. This recipe is definitely for the latter person. This easy pea pesto is made from frozen petit pois, blended with the requisite olive oil, herbs and cheese, along with the zest of half a lemon to enhance the freshness of the peas, and a generous amount of seasoning.

You want a pasta shape the sauce will cling to here. While fusilli would work, I like penne because the pesto sticks to the ridges, gets inside the tubes, and still maintains a nice bit of bite. A whole wheat penne rigate works really well here, not only because of its shape, but because it makes a more wholesome dish when paired with the sweetness of the peas.




Pea pesto with whole wheat penne rigate

Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling, salted water until it is al-dente. Meanwhile, make the pesto
In a small food processor or mini chopper, blend the petit pois, olive oil, basil, lemon zest, Parmesan, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. I like a smoother sauce, but you can also go for a chunky pesto. Add lemon juice to taste
Drain the pasta well, and stir in the pea pesto. Serve straight away, divided between 2 warm bowls
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